Volume index - Journal index - Article index - Map ---- Back

Comunicar Journal 77: New languages and cultures. Teaching languages for global and digital communication (Vol. 31 - 2023)

Lockdown, cyberhate, and protective factor of social-emotional and moral competencies in Primary Education


Vicente-J. Llorent

Carolina Seade-Mejía

Ximena Vélez-Calvo


The COVID-19 pandemic caused a major crisis in numerous social spheres, especially among children, due to the closure of schools in hundreds of countries. The lockdown resulted in classes being given exclusively online, which could have led to increased participation in antisocial online behaviour such as cyberhate. This research aims to find out the impact of lockdown on cyberhate in children in Primary Education and to analyse the role of social, emotional and moral competencies as a protective factor. The study was conducted with 792 primary school pupils (Mage=10.81, SD=0.85) from Cuenca (Ecuador). A questionnaire focusing on cyberhate, social and emotional competencies, empathy, and moral emotions scales was used. A quantitative study was carried out with a longitudinal design with two data rounds of collection separated by an interval of five months. The results showed that total cyberhate and its dimensions, perpetration and propagation, increased longitudinally. Cyberhate among these participants could be predicted, after five months of lockdown, for being male, being in the highest school year, attending a state school, and obtaining low scores in moral emotions. The effects of the lockdown have highlighted the importance of face-to-face social relationships, which has exciting implications on the importance of school in developing social, emotional, and moral competencies which foster coexistence and respect for diversity.


Cyberhate, socio emotional and moral competencies, empathy, lockdown, primary education, COVID-19

PDF file in Spanish

PDF file in English


Álamo, M., Llorent, V.J., Nasaescu, E., & Zych, I. (2020). Validación de la Escala de Emociones Morales en adolescentes. In V. Llorent & V. Cobano-Delgado (Eds.), Congreso Internacional de Transferencia de Conocimientos y Sensibilización Social. Islam y paz a través de voces musulmanas (pp. 16-20). Grupo de Investigación de Educación Comparada de Sevilla. https://bit.ly/3zaXzAy

Allemand, M., Steiger, A.E., & Fend, H.A. (2015). Empathy development in adolescence predicts social competencies in adulthood. Journal of Personality, 83(2), 229- 241. https://doi.org/10.1111/jopy.12098

Bachman, J.G., O'Malley, P.M., Schulenberg, J.E., Johnston, L.D., Freedman-Doan, P., & Messersmith, E.E. (2008). The education-drug use connection: How successes and failures in school relate to adolescent smoking, drinking, drug use, and delinquency. Psychology Press. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203809709

Bedrosova, M., Machackova, H., Šerek, J., Smahel, D., & Blaya, C. (2022). The relation between the cyberhate and cyberbullying experiences of adolescents in the Czech Republic, Poland, and Slovakia. Computers in Human Behavior, 126(107013), 1-13. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2021.107013

Blaya, C., Audrin, C., & Skrzypiec, G. (2020). School bullying, perpetration, and cyberhate: Overlapping issues. Contemporary School Psychology, 26(1) 341-349. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40688-020-00318-5

Campos, C., Pasion, R., Azeredo, A., Ramião, E., Mazer, P., Macedo, I., & Barbosa, F. (2022). Refining the link between psychopathy, antisocial behavior, and empathy: A meta-analytical approach across different conceptual frameworks. Clinical Psychology Review, 94(102145), 1-26. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpr.2022.102145

Caurín, C., Morales, A.J., & Fontana, M. (2019). Convivencia en el ámbito educativo: Aplicación de un programa basado en la empatía, la educación emocional y la resolución de conflictos en un instituto español de enseñanza secundaria. Cuestiones Pedagógicas, 27(6), 97-112. https://doi.org/10.12795/CP.2018.i27.06

Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning [CASEL]. (2012). 2012 CASEL guide: Effective social and emotional learning programs: Secondary school edition. Plateau. https://bit.ly/3IpQYZi

Delprato, M., & Antequera, G. (2021). Public and private school efficiency and equity in Latin America: New evidence based on PISA for development. International Journal of Educational Development, 84(102404), 1-13. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijedudev.2021.102404

Farrington, D. (2020). Childhood risk factors for criminal career duration: Comparisons with prevalence, onset, frequency and recidivism. Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health, 30(4), 159-171. https://doi.org/10.1002/cbm.2155

Ferrera, E., Cresci, S., & Luceri, L. (2020). Misinformation, manipulation, and abuse on social media in the era of COVID-19. Journal of Computational Social Science, 3(2), 271-277. https://doi.org/10.1007/s42001-020-00094-5

Gaffney, H., Ttofi, M., & Farrington, D. (2019). Evaluating the effectiveness of school-bullying prevention programs: An updated meta-analytical review. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 45, 111-133. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.avb.2018.07.001

Garaigordobil, M., Martínez, V., Páez, D., & Cardozo, G. (2015). Bullying y cyberbulling: diferencias entre colegios públicos-privados y religiosos-laicos. Pensamiento Psicológico, 13(1), 39-52. https://doi.org/10.11144/Javerianacali.PPSI131.bcdc

Haidt, J. (2003). Elevation and the positive psychology of morality. In C. L. M. Keyes & J. Haidt (Eds.) Flourishing: Positive psychology and the life well-lived (pp. 275-289). Association Psychological Association. https://doi.org/10.1037/10594-012

Hawdon, J., Oksanen, A., & Räsänen, P. (2017). Exposure to online hate in four nations: A cross-national consideration. Deviant Behaviour, 38(3), 254-266. https://doi.org/10.1080/01639625.2016.1196985

International Telecommunications Union [ITU]. (2021). Global Cybersecurity Index 2020. ITU Publications. https://bit.ly/3XM8ay3

Isik, U., Tahir, O., Meeter, M., Heymans, M., Jansma, E., Croiset, G., & Kusurkar, R.A. (2018). Factors influencing academic motivation of ethnic minority students: A review. SAGE Open, 8(2), 1-23. https://doi.org/10.1177/2158244018785412

Jaggers, J.W., Robison, S.B., Rhodes, J.L.F., Guan, X., & Church, W.T. (2016). Predicting adult criminality among Louisiana's urban youth: Poverty, academic risk, and delinquency. Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research, 7(1), 89-116. https://doi.org/10.1086/685089

Johnson, N., Leahy, R., Restrepo, N., Velasquez, N., Zheng, M., Manrique, P., Devkota, P., & Wuchty, S. (2019). Hidden resilience and adaptive dynamics of the global online hate ecology. Nature, 573, 261-265. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-019-1494-7

Jolliffe, D., & Farrington, D.P. (2004). Empathy and offending: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 9(5), 441-476. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.avb.2003.03.001

Jolliffe, D., & Farrington, D.P. (2006). Development and validation of the Basic Empathy Scale. Journal of Adolescence, 29(4), 589-611. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.adolescence.2005.08.010

Kansok-Dusche, J., Ballaschk, C., Krause, N., Zeißig, A., Seemann-Herz, L., Wachs, S., & Bilz, L. (2022). A systematic review on hate speech among children and adolescents: Definitions, prevalence, and overlap with related phenomena. Trauma, Violence and Abuse, 1-18. https://doi.org/10.1177/15248380221108070

Keipi, T., Koiranen, I., Koivula, A., & Räsänen, P. (2018). Assessing the social media landscape: Online relational use-purposes and life satisfaction among Finns. First Monday, 23(1). https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v23i1.8128

Kroll, J., & Egan, E. (2004). Psychiatry, moral worry, and the moral emotions. Journal of Psychiatric Practice, 10(6), 352-360. https://doi.org/10.1097/00131746-200411000-00003

Mazzone, A., Yanagida, T., Caravita, S.C.S., & Strohmeier, D. (2018). Moral emotions and moral disengagement: concurrent and longitudinal associations with aggressive behavior among early adolescents. The Journal of Early Adolescence, 39(6), 839-863. https://doi.org/10.1177/0272431618791276

Näsi, M., Oksanen, A., Keipi, T., & Räsänen, P. (2015). Cybercrime victimization among young people: a multi-nation study. Journal of Scandinavian Studies in Criminology and Crime Prevention, 16(2), 203-210. https://doi.org/10.1080/14043858.2015.1046640

Obermaier, M., & Schmuck, D. (2022). Youths as targets: factors of online hate speech victimization among adolescents and young adults. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 27(4), 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1093/jcmc/zmac012

Polanin, J., Espelage, D., Grotpeter, J., Ingram, K., Michaelson, L., Spinney, E., Valido, A., Sheikh, A., Torgal, C., & Robinson, L. (2022). A systematic review and meta-analysis of interventions to decrease cyberbullying perpetration and victimization. Prevention Science: The Official Journal of the Society for Prevention Research, 23(3), 439-454. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11121-021-01259-y

Rodríguez-Álvarez, J.M., Navarro, R., & Yubero, S. (2022). Bullying/Cyberbullying en quinto y sexto curso de Educación Primaria: Diferencias entre Contextos Rurales y Urbanos. Psicología Educativa, 28(2), 117-126. https://doi.org/10.5093/psed2021a18

Shollenberger, T. (2015). Racial disparities in school suspension and subsequent outcomes: Evidence from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997. In J. Losen (Ed.), Closing the school discipline gap: Research for policymakers (pp. 31-43). Teachers College Press. https://bit.ly/3Wh1nMu

Stassart, C., Wagener, A., & Etienne, A.M. (2021). Parents’ perceived impact of the societal lockdown of COVID-19 on family well-being and on the emotional and behavioral state of Walloon Belgian children aged 4 to 13 years: An exploratory study. Psychologica Belgica, 61(1), 186-199. https://doi.org/10.5334/pb.1059

UNESCO (Ed.) (2020). COVID-19 and its implications for protecting children online. April 2020. https://bit.ly/3I0VVr6

UNESCO (Ed.) (2022). Educación: del cierre de la escuela a la recuperación. https://bit.ly/3CRzd27

Villadangos, J., Errasti, J., Amigo, I., Jolliffe, D., & García-Cueto, E. (2016). Characteristics of empathy in young people measured by the Spanish validation of the Basic Empathy Scale. Psicothema, 28(3), 323–329. https://doi.org/10.7334/psicothema2016.6

Wachs, S., & Wright, M. (2018). Asociaciones entre espectadores y perpetradores del odio en línea: el papel moderador de la desinhibición tóxica en línea. Revista Internacional de Investigación Ambiental y Salud Pública, 15(9), 2030-2039. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15092030

Wachs, S., Gámez-Guadix M., & Wright M. (2022). Victimización por discurso de odio y síntomas depresivos en adolescentes: el papel protector de la resiliencia. Ciberpsicología, Comportamiento y Redes Sociales, 25(7), 416-423. https://doi.org/10.1089/cyber.2022.0009

Windisch, S., Wiedlitzka, S., Olaghere, A., & Jenaway, E. (2022). Online interventions for reducing hate speech and cyberhate: A systematic review. Campbell Systematic Reviews, 18(2), 1-25. https://doi.org/10.1002/cl2.1243

Wright, M.F., Wachs, S., & Gámez-Guadix, M. (2021). Youths’ coping with cyberhate: Roles of parental mediation and family support. [Jóvenes ante el ciberodio: El rol de la mediación parental y el apoyo familiar]. Comunicar, 67, 21-33. https://doi.org/10.3916/C67-2021-02

Yang, C., Chan, M. K., & Ma, T. L. (2020). School-wide social emotional learning (SEL) and bullying victimization: Moderating role of school climate in elementary, middle, and high schools. Journal of School Psychology, 82, 49-69. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsp.2020.08.002

Zych, I., Espejo-Siles, R., Rodríguez-Ruiz, J., Marín-López, I., Llorent, V. J., & Oksanen, A. (In Press). The Cordoba Cyberhate Questionnaire: A validation study with a representative sample of Spanish adolescents.

Zych, I., Ortega-Ruiz, R., Muñoz-Morales, R., & Llorent, V. J. (2018). Dimensions and psychometric properties of the Social and Emotional Competencies Questionnaire (SEC-Q) in youth and adolescents. Revista Latinoamericana de Psicología, 50(2), 98-106. https://doi.org/10.14349/rlp.2018.v50.n2.3